Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The ride to work

So back in February I started bicycling to work. The route is about 7-8 miles the way I go in the morning, sometimes longer in the afternoon if I'm up for a longer ride. I've ridden with one of the managers from my office a few times, but usually it's just me and the bike.

I finally got around to taking some pictures of the route. I didn't want to take pics on a work day because I wanted to wait until I had some extra time. Without further ado, here is the view down my street as I head out

At the end of my street I come out to a major six-lane road. I have to make sure there is no traffic coming, because even though the speed limit is 40 MPH, cars traveling 60 are not uncommon.

Also, I make a left turn into a shopping center parking lot after only a block or two, so I need to get all the way over to the left,

...and make my turn.

Then I drive through the parking lot past the Albertson's supermarket, a Valero gas station and a Sonic Drive-In.

Then I make another left turn onto another major road; this one has a lot less traffic and I follow it for a half mile or so.

At the next light,

...I can either go straight or turn right. This morning I turned right,

...down a lightly-traveled two-lane road with very wide lanes. Just to prove it is me, here I am.

I take the first left to get into a residential neighborhood, and from here on I am in residential areas for most of the remaining ride.

You may notice my shadow in a lot of these pics. That's a good thing; it means that for cars coming up behind me, I am well-lit and they can see me. The house in the center of the next picture belongs to a friend of mine. I usually wave as I pass the window, just in case someone inside is looking. Sometimes I get a wave back.

I cross over this bridge

The only time I've gotten a flat during a commute was at this point.

Even though there is a wide, marked shoulder, that lane often has glass in it. After a gentle rise and then a gentle downhill, I come out at the crossing of a major street.

There is a high school on the right just after the light. I almost got right-hooked by a student and followed him to his parking spot for a little extra-curricular education about sharing the road with bikes! After the light I go down a few blocks and turn onto Wedgemont Circle. It really is a circle, with a constant bend to the left for quite a ways.

It comes out again at a busy street but again, there's a traffic light to help me get across.

After crossing the busy street and the train tracks, I turn right and follow the train tracks up to the freeway.

This is an interesting and unique intersection. The side road I travel on is on the same level as the train tracks, each with its own bridge over the freeway access road, and the freeway itself is on an even higher level above. As a result I don't have to deal with any of the traffic getting on or exiting the freeway.

And I end up in yet another residential area after passing this church.

I turn left to ride parallel to, and a few blocks south of, the freeway, through a very nice neighborhood,

...although even nice neighborhoods are not exempt from tacky Christmas decorations!

Finally, I come to one of the most challenging parts of my ride.

This is Hulen Street, one of the busiest streets in Fort Worth.

The proper way to cross this intersection is to dismount the bike to become a pedestrian, and cross on foot. Note that there is no way for vehicular traffic to go straight across.

The proper way.


Anyway, once I get through I pass another Albertson's,

...a whole bunch of other stores, and finally a Home Depot.

At this point I'm running through the parking lot of a shopping center that runs along the freeway access road. I cross over into the parking lot of an office building,

And then over to the parking lot of this fine establishment:

After Hooter's, I have to finally get on the freeway access road. It's all downhill from here, literally. In fact, I call this part of my commute "Hooter's Hill" since there's a Hooter's at the top. It's fun going down... WHEEEEE...





Unfortunately, I have to ride UP Hooter's Hill after work. :(

At the bottom, I cross through the traffic light, and there I am, at the nondescript strip mall where my office is.


HeidiTri's said...

Wow! You have to deal with serious traffic and intersections to get to work! And Hooters Hill must be a B#@*H to get up at the end of the day!
I'm impressed that you make this commute!

Unknown said...

I was going to snark about the lack of hills, until the final pics. ;)
Seriously, it looks like a nice ride, with great sight angles from everywhere. When the snow buggers off here in the Great White North, I'll try to get up the wherewithall to go on a huge ride and take pics. Riding and playing around with a cellphone camera makes a ride oh-so-much more interesting, and not in that good way.
Nice pics, btw. Did you stop and take them, or do them on the fly? The skies look fantastic.

Cheers, Zack_Replica.

-L said...

As I looked at the photos I couldn't help thinking to myself how familiar everything looked. Then I saw Hulen Street and what do you know, we live in the same city Doohickie. Go figure!

Your fellow mefite,

Haunted by Leonard Cohen

popeye cahn said...

Very cool Paul, I'll post pics of my route in the next week...